I go to a lot of presentations, social events, meetup groups in relation to project management. Recently I went to a presentation regarding the book the – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable – by Patrick Lencioni. The book is very good and the talk was very good.
But what was also really interesting was a story I was told by another participant after the presentation had finished. I don’t actually know this guys name as I didn’t get his business card! But I will endeavour to find out .
This guy told the great story as follows – he had just started working at a new firm and a colleague asked him at short notice to do a retrospective. Just 1 hours notice. So this guy said that’s fine. But just as he walks into it, his colleague says this team has some bad problems. So this guys thinking ok :s – well thanks for this! He walks into room and there are about 16 people there! So he starts by getting them to play a game called lean coffee. Then he can see from body language quite quickly that 3 or 4 people are dominate. Others cross their arms and are not interested. Things are chatted over a bit, but he feels social and work pressure is stopping people from being open in the group. So he talks to the individuals out of the group over the following couple of days and uses this stuff he knows from the 5 dysfunctions of teams. Quickly people connect to what he is saying and open up to him. This in turn was helping him solve the problems at hand.
To be honest I think he could have used other references. ‘7 habits of highly successful people’, ‘crucial conversations’ and people would have connected. What is interesting is a lot of issues are just human emotions. Technical aspects are not the problem. Well I guess at least they are not the problem all of the time!